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Schmemann, Alexander (1921–1983)

  1. Scott M. Kenworthy

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1221

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Kenworthy, S. M. 2011. Schmemann, Alexander (1921–1983). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


One of the most influential Orthodox theologians and churchmen in the West during the 20th century, particularly in the field of liturgical theology, Alexander Schmemann was born in Tallinn, Estonia, in 1921 to a family of Russified Baltic Germans. His family moved to Paris, and Schmemann was educated in both French and Russian schools. From 1940 to 1945 he studied at the St. Sergius Theological Institute in Paris, which was the intellectual center for many prominent Russian émigré theologians, such as Sergius Bulgakov. He married Juliana Osorguine in 1943 and in 1946 he was ordained a priest and began teaching church history at St. Sergius. During this formative period he was also profoundly influenced by the liturgical renewal movement of French Roman Catholic theologians such as Louis Boyer and Jean Daniélou. In 1951 he moved to St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York; he became dean of the Seminary in 1962 and remained in that office until his death on December 13, 1983.


  • Schmemann, Alexander (1921–1983);
  • influential orthodox theologians, churchmen;
  • contribution, to orthodox liturgical theology